Turkey's ruling party: Old leader, new strategy

Photo: Turkey's ruling party: Old leader, new strategy / Commentary

Trend Arabic news service head Rufiz Hafizoglu

The fourth congress of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was held in Turkey on Sunday. The result was Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's re-election as the leader for a third term.

No one had doubts that Erdogan would become AKP chairman. Most analysts explain this with the fact that there was no alternative in the party.

It is argued that although the congress focused on domestic politics, foreign policy issues also took a considerable place at the congress.

One of the most significant moments was the nomination of former leader of the People's Voice (HAS) party Numan Kurtulmus as an AKP board member candidate.

Another was Erdogan's statement after the election. "Do not take it as a farewell, but this is the last time when I run for," Erdogan said.

This statement is not associated with the election of Kurtulmush, but it gives grounds to suggest that at the next congress Kurtulmus can be nominated for the post of the party leader.

The congress also discussed the Syrian crisis, the fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Palestine issue and crimes against Muslims in Myanmar (Burma), as well as Turkish-Armenian and Turkish-Egyptian relations.

On the subject of PKK, Erdogan sent an open message to the Kurds. "We want to prepare a road map with our Kurdish brothers. Let's solve this problem without violence and weapons, but with political means," Erdogan urged. A little earlier, he said the threat of terrorism in the country has not disappeared, and talks will be held in this direction.

According to media, Erdogan does not rule out the possibility of talks with Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK, who is serving a life sentence in a prison on the Imrali Island.

Ankara also showed its determination in eradicating terrorism before. The return to this issue is attributed to the Syrian events.

Ankara understands that the government in Syria will leave sooner or later, and after Bashar al-Assad leaves, the issue of the establishment of a "Kurdish state" in northern Syria will arise. And this will be a serious headache for Ankara in the most literal sense of the word. That is why Ankara is going to end subversive activities of the PKK in the region as soon as possible and by all means.

It is interesting that the congress did not discuss the relationship between Turkey and the EU. And it should be considered as Ankara's clear message to Brussels to start a new strategy. Under this strategy, Turkey's priority is not entry into the endless labyrinth of the European Union, but turning into a superpower in the Middle East.

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